Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss lethal injection, Sam Mellinger’s K-State column and greyhound racing

Death warranted

There are people who object to the death penalty. They often cite reasons of religion or decency. Some indicate that the current execution method, lethal injection, results in preliminary pain.

If a criminal enters a school and kills a bunch of kids, and a school guard shoots and kills the attacker, we tend to find that action appropriate and applaud the guard. If the killer is captured, tried in a court and found guilty, I see no legitimate argument that the death penalty handed down by a judge should not be carried out.

I am addressing only horrendous crimes. For those found guilty of rape, assault, abuse, burglary and other such terrible crimes, the death penalty is no longer applied.

If there is an objection to lethal injection, why not use the same method as gun killers? Simply use a firing squad. The execution would be instant and humane. I doubt we would ever go back to that, but it seems appropriate.

Robert Rogers


K-State memories

I enjoyed Sam Mellinger’s commentary on the Elite Eight game between Kansas and Kansas State in 1988. (March 22, B1, “The day the Kansas-Kansas State rivalry changed forever”)

As the lead tutor and study hall coordinator for Kansas State athletics at the time, I got to know several of the players, and they were truly a unique group.

Mitch Richmond was a quiet, confident star. There were several role players whose names are probably forgotten by all but the most stalwart fans. Carlos Diggins was a joyful young student-athlete who often came through with a clutch defensive play. Billy Ray Smith was a quiet, humble Texan (yes, there is such a thing). And Fred McCoy, a kid from the tough streets of Washington, D.C., always seemed to come up with a key rebound.

We didn’t know at the time, but that tough loss would be the apex of K-State basketball, as Melliger’s piece pointed out.

I blame two things: First, the loss of Lon Kruger as coach was tough. But moving from the intimidating, loud, intimate surroundings of Ahearn Field House was what really injured the program. Ahearn crowds were the sixth man for the Wildcats.

Once again, money wins.

Randal Beeman

Ventura, Calif.

Revenue source

I am concerned about the education funding deficit in Kansas. I do not think doubling or even tripling property taxes is the answer. (March 20, 1A, “Kansas can’t afford $2B for schools, lawmakers say”)

I have a better idea: I think we should tax any real estate property owned by churches or religious organizations that are not used as churches or schools. My husband is a retired commercial real estate appraiser and was amazed at how much property, outside the actual church, was owned tax-free by very wealthy congregations.

It would be worth some investigative reporting to see whether it would cover the education deficit.

I commend you on the investigative stories you have recently done in The Kansas City Star. Thank you for making a difference and forcing politicians to take action.

Diane Landrath-



Reopen the tracks

Kansas needs money to keep our schools going. Is it conceivable that pari-mutuel wagering, simulcast betting and slots at the Woodlands and other tracks in Kansas could raise a substantial amount of much-needed revenue to help our school systems.

Let’s face it: People are going to gamble. Some go to Iowa, Nebraska or Oklahoma to bet on horses. People also go online to illegally wager on horse racing.

Think of all the money we could keep here in our state if the government would vote to allow an equal percentage of slot revenue from the tracks as the casinos have. I mean, what is 40 percent of nothing compared with 25 percent of, let’s say, a million dollars? Do the math.

Let’s get these tracks open and bringing in revenue for the state. Not to mention the jobs available, plus expanded hotel, restaurant and convenience store business. We’d be bringing in visitors from other states to spend their money in our state. Increase Kansas tourism.

It’s ironic that the Greyhound Hall of Fame is in Abilene, Kan., and yet dogs have to be sent out of state to race.

Let’s get these bills passed and the tracks open.

Rick Brunk

Kansas City, Kan.

One or another

Logically speaking, those stridently, passionately against any form of gun control must be equally stridently, passionately in favor of guns out of control.

Steve Barnhart

Kansas City